World Oceans Day and the need for responsible tourism

TRAVEL TRENDS, WORLD/ Created : Jun 8, 2022, 13:50 IST

World Oceans Day and the need for responsible tourism

Synopsis

World Oceans Day: Every year on June 8, we observe World Oceans Day, to remind ourselves of the impact of human actions on the ocean. The goal is to make the citizens aware of the threats the oceans face because of human activitie … Read more


World Oceans Day and the need for responsible tourism

Every year on June 8, we observe World Oceans Day, to remind ourselves of the impact of human actions on the ocean.

The history


In 2008, the United Nations officially recognised World Oceans Day, though the idea was proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The aim of this day is to make the citizens aware of the threats the oceans face because of human activities, and the ways we can help protect the ocean.


The problem


The major threats our oceans face today are oil spills and garbage and sewage disposal. Both are catastrophic in nature and cause irreversible damage to our environment, not to forget the harm it causes the marine ecosystem.


We need the ocean for our survival. The tiny, plant-like marine organisms, called phytoplankton, through the process of photosynthesis, produce 50% of the Earth’s oxygen. It is safe to say that the air we breathe, a good chunk of it, has come from the ocean. Oceans are important, now that’s an understatement.


World Oceans Day and the need for responsible tourism

Like every year, we have a theme for World Oceans Day – Revitalisation: Collective Action for the Ocean. With 71% of the earth covered with water, one may think about how it is even possible to kill an ocean, it’s not a river that we can kill easily. Oh, but we can. What you are throwing out today in your garbage, will eventually find its way to the ocean. No matter where you are.

One of the most daunting challenges, the way oceans have become a dumping ground for plastic waste, is something that has got all the countries’ governments worried. Millions of tonnes of plastic can be found in the ocean, they get into the marine food chain, which we then consume. Did that make you think about how what we throw out never really goes away?



The solution

As travellers, we step outside our doors and can reach just about anywhere on this earth. The straw, mask or a plastic bag that you threw out while vacationing in Bali or Machu Picchu, may be floating around somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, with an unsuspecting sea turtle trying to eat it thinking it’s food. That plastic straw might be lodged in a fish’s gills somewhere in the Pacific.

It will eventually get back to us, one way or the other.


World Oceans Day and the need for responsible tourism

The world needs responsible tourism now more than it has ever needed. As travellers, we can do our part to protect the ocean and the environment. Recycle - what we can, Refuse - plastic, Re-Use - what we have.

Environment-friendly travel is possible, if we are mindful about what we use on our travels. For instance, instead of buying bottled water every time, we can simply carry reusable bottles and fill water as and when we need. We can also refuse plastic straws, and carry our own reusable straws. Most eating joints these days give “eco-friendly” straws and utensils. But then, most of them are always plastic-lined, aren’t they?

Instead of single-use carry bags, you can use a tote bag to carry your purchases while travelling. There are many ways one can be a responsible traveller. It all boils down to whether we care enough to make an effort.



  1. Which is the most polluted ocean in the world?
    The Pacific Ocean is the most polluted ocean in the world. It has the largest accumulation of plastic waste in the world.
  2. How many oceans are there on Earth?
    There are five oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Southern (Antarctic). The Southern Ocean is the latest addition.
  3. What is the difference between a sea and an ocean?
    Seas are smaller than oceans and they are located between an ocean and land. Oceans are large bodies of open water.

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